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AIMS: Hypoglycaemia is a significant risk in insulin treated type 2 diabetes and has been associated with future risk of cardiovascular events. We compared the frequency of low-glucose events using continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) with that of self-reported hypoglycemic events at the end of the first and third years of the Treating to Target in Type 2 Diabetes Trial (4-T), which compared biphasic, prandial and basal insulin regimens added to sulfonylurea and metformin. METHODS: CGM using a Medtronic Gold system was performed in a subgroup of 4-T participants. CGM detected low-glucose events were defined at thresholds of ≤3.0 (CGM3.0) and ≤2.2 (CGM2.2) mmol/l. RESULTS: Of the 110 participants, 106 and 70 had CGM analysable data at the end of years 1 and 3 respectively. In both years, the frequency of CGM detected low glucose events was several fold higher than that of self-reported hypoglycaemia (symptoms with blood glucose less than 3.1mmol/l [<56mg/dl]). At the end of the first year, CGM3.0 and CGM2.2 mean (95%CI) event frequencies, expressed at events per participant per year, were 120 (85, 155) and 41 (21, 61) compared with 17 (8, 29) self-reported events during CGM, each p=0.001. The disparity at the end of the third year was similar. CONCLUSIONS: These data demonstrate the likely under-reporting of hypoglycaemia and of potential hypoglycaemia unawareness in clinical trials. The clinical implications of these findings need to be explored further (ISRCTN No ISRCTN51125379).

Original publication




Journal article


Diabetes Res Clin Pract

Publication Date





161 - 168


Clinical trials, Continuous glucose monitoring, Hypoglycaemia, Insulin therapy, Type 2 diabetes, Blood Glucose, Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, Female, Humans, Hypoglycemia, Hypoglycemic Agents, Insulin, Male, Middle Aged